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'Game of Thrones' Stars Pay Tribute Ahead of Finale: 'Now Our Watch Has Ended'

“If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” The immortal words of Game of Thrones‘ Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) live on as the series comes to a close on Sunday, May 19. <a href="https://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/pictures/game-of-thrones-stars-transformation-from-first-to-last-premiere/"> 'Game of Thrones' Cast: Then and Now </a> Some members of the star-studded cast, including leading lady <a href="https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrities/emilia-clarke/">Emilia Clarke</a> (Daenerys Targaryen), took to Instagram to pay tribute to the show that kickstarted their careers. “The mother of dragons chapter has taken up the whole of my adult life,” Clarke, 32, who was in her early twenties when the drama premiered in 2011, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxpq1YgFDm8/">captioned a series of snapshots of the cast and crew</a>. “This woman has taken up the whole of my heart. I’ve sweated in the blaze of dragon fire, shed many tears at those who left our family early, and wrung my brain dry trying to do Khaleesi and the masterful words, actions (and names) I was given, justice.” (Her character’s full title was Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.) The Solo: A Star Wars Story actress continued her farewell, noting that Game of Thrones “shaped” her “as an actor and as a human being.” <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxpq1YgFDm8/"> View this post on Instagram </a> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxpq1YgFDm8/">Finding the words to write this post has left me overwhelmed with how much I want to say but how small words feel in comparison to what this show and Dany have meant to me. The mother of dragons chapter has taken up the whole of my adult life. This woman has taken up the whole of my heart. I’ve sweated in the blaze of dragon fire, shed many tears at those who left our family early, and wrung my brain dry trying to do Khaleesi and the masterful words, actions (and names) I was given, justice. Game of Thrones has shaped me as a woman, as an actor and as a human being. I just wish my darling dad was here now to see how far we’ve flown. But to you, dear kind magical fans, I owe you so much thanks, for your steady gaze at what we’ve made and what I’ve done with a character that was already in the hearts of many before I slipped on the platinum wig of dreams. Without you there is no us. And now our watch has ended. @gameofthrones @hbo #love #motherofdragonsoverandout</a> A post shared by @<a href="https://www.instagram.com/emilia_clarke/"> emilia_clarke</a> on May 19, 2019 at 9:37am PDT <a href="https://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/pictures/game-of-thrones-cast-what-they-look-like-off-screen-2013273/"> 'Game of Thrones' Cast: What They Look Like Off Screen </a> “I just wish my darling dad was here now to see how far we’ve flown,” she added of her father, who died in July 2016. “But to you, dear kind magical fans, I owe you so much thanks, for your steady gaze at what we’ve made and what I’ve done with a character that was already in the hearts of many before I slipped on the platinum wig of dreams. Without you there is no us.” The final line of her text was the most poignant: “And now our watch has ended.” Costar John Bradley, who’s played Jon Snow’s best friend, Samwell Tarly, since episode 4, echoed Clarke’s sentiments on his own Instagram. “So tonight we have our very last episode. It’s the final step of a long and wonderful journey. A journey that, for me, started at 10am on Monday 19th of July 2010,” Bradley, 30, captioned a photo of himself holding his rehearsal and prep schedule from season 1, week 1. “Listed here is the rehearsal where I first met <a href="https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrities/kit-harington/">Kit [Harington]</a>, and the first time I wore the costume that’s seen me through 8 seasons.” <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxpt1oTBUrG/"> View this post on Instagram </a> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxpt1oTBUrG/">So tonight we have our very last episode. It’s the final step of a long and wonderful journey. A journey that, for me, started at 10am on Monday 19th of July 2010. I know this because recently I found my rehearsal and prep schedule for season 1, week 1. This was given to me when I landed in Belfast for the first time, weeks before we even started shooting. Listed here is the rehearsal where I first met Kit, and the first time I wore the costume that’s seen me through 8 seasons. I’m glad I kept this. I met so many people that week who have come to mean so much to me. Back then we couldn’t have known the journey we’d go on together. I wouldn’t swap that experience, or those people, for the world. Enjoy the episode and thanks for everything. @gameofthrones @hbo #GOT </a> A post shared by <a href="https://www.instagram.com/johnbradleywest/"> John Bradley</a> (@johnbradleywest) on May 19, 2019 at 10:03am PDT <a href="https://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/pictures/game-of-thrones-mistakes-fans-have-caught-throughout-the-series/"> Mistakes Eagle-Eyed Fans Caught on 'Game of Thrones' </a> The Patient Zero actor said he “met so many people that week who have come to mean so much to me. Back then we couldn’t have known the journey we’d go on together. I wouldn’t swap that experience, or those people, for the world. Enjoy the episode and thanks for everything.” As for Kristofer Hivju, who’s played fan-favorite wildling Tormund Giantsbane since season 3, he was all smiles in his tribute pic, posing in between the object of his affections, on screen and off. “Definitely a win win situation,” he captioned the photo. “Homage to <a href="https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrities/gwendoline-christie/">Gwendoline Christie</a> @gwendolineuniverse for her brilliant preformance [sic] as the warrior, the knight and the beautiful human being Brienne Of Tarth #GOTafterparty With my wife [Gry Molvær Hivju].” <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxpxNieAjar/"> View this post on Instagram </a> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxpxNieAjar/">Onscreen and offscreen love! Definitely a win win situation:-) Homage to Gwendoline Christie @gwendolineuniverse for her brilliant preformance as the warrior, the knight and the beautiful human being Brienne Of Tarth #GOTafterparty With my wife @grymolvaerhivju #gameofthrones #brienneoftarth #tormund #brimund #tormundgiantsbane #newyork</a> A post shared by <a href="https://www.instagram.com/khivju/"> Kristofer Hivju</a> (@khivju) on May 19, 2019 at 10:33am PDT The series finale airs on HBO Sunday, May 19 at 9 p.m. ET.

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